May 18, 2008

wine oh!

I don't know if its a California phenomenon, or if its the case everywhere, but liquor stores in California seem to often have some really great old neon. This sign is in Long Beach. I've passed it many times without noticing that each letter is contained within a keg (or maybe a wine barrel?). But tonight as I walked under it, I noticed for the first time that the top of the sign says "Wine Mess". At first I thought that must be a play on words resembling 'fine mess'. But a Google search of Wine Mess brought up this headline from a 1914 newspaper. So maybe a wine mess was a naval term for something like a bar on a ship? Its a term I hadn't heard before, but given that Long Beach used to be a Navy town, that connection could make sense. Kind of interesting to think how terms disappear from our language. Then again, maybe I'm thinking too much about some random neon sign...

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